Law enforcement officials confirmed Thursday that they had arrested a man on suspicion of purposefully starting brush fires in Towsley Canyon on Wednesday.
The arrest stems from an initial blaze being first reported at 4:33 p.m. on the 24000 block of Towsley Canyon Road. Although the responding Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopters quickly extinguished that first blaze, a second quickly sprung up nearby.
Firefighters began to both extinguish the new fires as they appeared while also coordinating with the Santa Clarita Valley Search and Rescue team, as they believed there could be a possible arson suspect in the area, Fire Department Supervisor Melanie Flores said.
At approximately 7:30 p.m., sheriff’s deputies reported that they detained a 42-year-old homeless man in Towsley Canyon.
“He didn’t seem to be a hiker or stranded in any way,” said Sgt. Joe Iguia, an investigator with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Arson and Explosives Detail. “He was in possession of a cigarette lighter.”
“As of right now, we don’t have a motive; he hasn’t made a statement quite yet,” Iguia added.
The man was booked on suspicion of arson and was held in lieu of $75,000 bail. The case, according to Iguia, is set to be presented to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office on Friday.
In total, the fires burned less than one-eighth of an acre and no injuries or damaged structures were reported, Fire Department Supervisor Bernard Peters said at the time of the incident.